Industry News – 11/4/13

Why Energy Efficiency is Worth the Investment,

The study, Unlocking American Efficiency, examines the impact of a 30% improvement in U.S. building efficiency by 2030, which its authors say is possible with existing technology and design principles. They found that it would save $65 billion between commercial, residential, and governmental entities. A graph shows that in 2011, U.S. businesses’ second largest expense, was the $432 billion that was spent on building energy.   

Industry News – 10/15/13

Reducing Carbon Footprints for High-Powered Facility Portfolios,

Columbia University Medical Center has established a goal to cut campus greenhouse gas emissions 30% by 2025. The university undertook the project in response to PlaNYC, a challenge initiated by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions 30% from 2005 levels by 2030. Associate Director for Energy Management, Rachel Futrell, said “The traditional, easy energy conservation measures didn’t really apply for our campus. We can’t shut off laboratories at night.  We can’t really change the temperatures. We can’t re-circulate much of our air. We have an aging infrastructure. So it was quite a challenge.” CMCU created an energy plan and decided which projects to undertake. Key projects in phase one focused on building management systems, the central chiller plant, and operations and maintenance. CUMC first started implementing PlaNYC in 2011 but didn’t see a reduction in greenhouses gasses and costs until 2012. For the end of fiscal year 2013, the university projects a 4% drop from the 2010 baseline and a 15% drop in utility costs from actual.

Extreme Makeover Hospital Edition: $30 Million Energy Efficiency Makeover for CVH,

The Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services has chosen NORESCO to retrofit Connecticut Valley Hospital as part of the “Lead By Example” program, a new effort to reduce costs through energy efficiency at state and municipal buildings. The project, which will cost $30 million, will be paid for through future guaranteed energy savings and will bring “much-needed and highly efficient energy systems and equipment” to CVH.

Industry News – 9/23/13

How Energy Efficiency Measure are Becoming Big Business,

The article says that although energy efficiency projects lack the visual appeal of wind farms or solar they cut carbon emissions at low cost and are becoming increasingly big business. The opening of efficiency projects to retail investors, those with small amounts to invest, is in its infancy, and has happened so far mainly in the United States. But analysts say it is likely to advance quickly and cross to the UK soon. When Maryland-based Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Capital went public in April, raising $167m on the New York Stock Exchange, its shares became the main vehicle available to retail investors wanting to help fund efficiency projects. CEO Jeffrey Eckel acknowledges that the efforts the company finances lack the visibility of the renewable energy sector, with its photogenic wind turbines. Hannon Armstrong has invested $3bn in energy efficiency since 2000 and expects spending to increase with shareholders’ infusion of new capital. The company hopes to pay a 7% dividend by the end of the year, generated from energy savings.

Industry News – 8/8/13

Energy Projects Make Kingsbury Labs UNH’s Most Efficient,

The system, installed by Maine firms Shift Energy and Colby Company Engineers, cost $130,000; UNH received a grant of $60,000 from the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to offset nearly half the investment. With a total reduction in ventilation heating costs of up to 80 percent, the project is anticipated to save between $7,000 and $10,000 per year. With an eye toward continuous reduction of UNH’s campus-wide energy use, campus energy manager Matt O’Keefe is justifiably excited about the savings realized in Kingsbury Hall. “Ventilation heating and cooling has the largest impact and footprint of just about any process in commercial and industrial buildings,” he says. “There’s still a lot of energy being used in these spaces, but it’s as little as possible.” 


Government Buildings Go Green to Slash Expenses,

The GSA reported that they have met all of their 2012 goals and exceeded some of their 2020 goals as well. These achievements are: a 25% decrease in energy use intensity levels from 2003, a $65.5 million savings and 21% ahead of goal, a 35% elimination of greenhouse gas emissions since 2008, which exceeds its 2020 reduction target, 20% water usage reduction over 2007, a savings of $6.5 million and 10% ahead of goal, and a 36% decline in fleet petroleum consumption compared to 2005. The scorecard does however state that just under 11% of the GSA’s buildings are considered sustainable.

Industry News – 7/8/13

Four Reasons to Launch a Continuous Energy Improvement Program,

This article states four reasons that companies should launch a Continuous Energy Improvement program. They are savings money, your employees with appreciate and benefit from it, your company will be seen as a leader and its easier than you think as companies that employ Lean Six Sigma or similar programs already believe in ongoing improvement.

The Gradual Greening of American College Campuses,

The 2013 Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges provides an overview of how sustainability on campus is no longer just recycling or petition signing and colleges are now taking a system wide approach. The article provides examples of sustainability initiatives at several colleges such as UC San Diego, UW Oshkosh and American University. The article also says that many times it is students who are driving the advancement of sustainability programs on campus and are conducting a lot of the research behind campus initiatives.

Industry News – 6/10/13

How to Kill Your Energy Hogs: Managing Building Energy Consumption,

The author talks about retro commissioning and that the largest consumer of energy in a building is HVAC. He provides a three-step approach to energy efficiency via commissioning. These steps include: making sure it’s off when it’s supposed to be off (he mentions a VAV retrofit as a solution), making sure it is working right when it’s on and “is there a better way?”. The author also lists three areas of opportunity- lighting, DCV and static pressure reset.

Industry News – 6/30/13

CBC to Receive Nearly $1.8 Million for Energy Cost Savings Projects,

Columbia Basin College will receive $1.76 million from the commerce department’s Energy Efficiency Grant program. It will pay for a new heating and cooling system along with energy monitoring and other improvements. Edmonds Community College will be receiving $1.97 million and Peninsula College will be getting nearly $2 million from the same grant program.

Recovering Wasted Energy Expense is a $750 Billion Opportunity,

According to the US Department of Energy (DOE), more than 4.2 million commercial buildings waste an average 30% of the energy that owners and tenants pay for. During 2007, the DOE estimated the cost of that waste at $60.7 billion. It is estimated that at an 8.0% capitalization rate, $60.7 billion of wasted energy expense represents $750 billion of lost asset value. According to several surveys businesses have made goals to reduce energy, but few have actually taken steps towards doing so. The author feels that through his experience this lack of action is due to several misconception such as energy reduction initiatives are expensive and risky. He provides a five step process for businesses to follow in order to reduce energy costs. The steps start with taking charge of energy bills and include evaluating costs and benefits and end with the preparation of a professional recommendation.

Industry News – 5/6/13

Harvard, MIT Recruit Firms to Sign Sustainability Compact,

Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, cloud platform company Akamai Technologies and the city of Cambridge, Mass., have agreed to work collaboratively to address climate change issues at the local level  by recruiting signatories to sign the Community Compact for a Sustainable Future. The compact lays out a framework for the signatories to coordinate and tackle sustainability challenges including waste reduction, energy efficiency, climate mitigation and adaptation, water management, renewable energy and green tech incubation. Harvard and MIT will also work with city staff to share sustainable design and green building strategies in new construction and major renovation projects. Additionally they will also share strategies and research with the city on pilot projects such as the Canaday solar thermal and steam tunnel heat-recovery system that supplies some 60 percent of domestic hot water for all buildings in Harvard Yard, according to the compact.

Industry News – 4/12/13

Monitoring the Indoor Environmental Quality of Animal Facilities, ALN Magazine

Vivarium suites consist of several different types of areas: animal holding rooms, procedure rooms, quarantine space, storage areas, and specialized areas for cage washing, imaging, surgery, and necropsy. Article explores  specific environmental and ventilation requirements.

Energy Efficiency Saves Money, Teaches Lessons at Kentucky School,

NPR Louisville recently did a report on Richardsville Elementary (an Aircuity installation). It talks about the impact that the school’s net zero design has on expenses by reducing what would be typically a utility bill of $8,000/month to $0. The reporter said that it would take too much time to list all of green features of the building and only lists a few. The reporter stated, “And as politicians like to point out, Kentucky has among the lowest energy costs in the nation. This means that if it makes economic sense to build energy efficient buildings here, it would only make more sense in other, more expensive places.”

Industry News – 4/22/13

BOMA: Top 10 Efficiency Tactics for Commercial Buildings,

The Building Owner’s Management Association published the top 10 ways that commercial real estate professionals can make sustainability a priority. Measure and management is number one on the list followed by auditing. Number seven on the list is to use sensors. The article mentions the use of occupancy sensors for lighting and HVAC controls.


A New Look at Airside Economizers,